Sherry wines - Vinos de Jerez - Manzanilla, Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez, Fino, Palo Cortado, Amontillado

Fino

Fino is a dry, pale sherry wine produced within the D.O. Jerez / Xéres / Sherry

Some of the most renowned Finos include Tio Pepe (Gonzalez Byass), La Ina (Lustau) and Inocente (Valdespino)

It is made from the Palomino grape and biologically aged, entirely under a layer of flor. This cap of yeast prevents contact with the air while at the same time transforming the wine as it ages. Maturation of at least 2 years in wooden barrels is prescribed by law but the majority of Finos are aged between four and seven years.

Like Manzanilla, the slightly more delicate and more coastal variety of Fino from Sanlúcar, it is produced in a Solera system, having different scales or criaderas and gradually refreshing lower (older) barrels with a part of the higher (younger) barrels. A typical Fino Solera contains between three and seven criaderas, consisting of American oak butts.

In 2021 Bodegas Ximénez-Spínola presented the first Fino sherry made from Pedro Ximénez grapes.

 

Fino character

The maturation under flor results in a yeasty, saline profile with notes of Mediterranean herbs, fresh dough and almonds. At around four years of age, Fino sherry shows bright notes of flor and minerals with a slightly sharp edge, while older examples show more savoury complexity and less spikey salinity.

 

Types of Fino sherry

The flor in Fino barrels will usually live for about 7 to 10 years. At that point there is not enough material left in the wine to survive (the sugar content of the wine will be below 5 grams per litre), and the flor gradually fades, slowly exposing the wine to oxygen. Depending on the stage of the flor, there are two classifications of Fino sherry:

  • Fino is the traditional dry sherry, typically bottled around 3 to 7 years.
  • Fino Amontillado is the counterpart of a Manzanilla Pasada, in which the flor starts to fade. This style is rarely seen in the market nowadays – the difference between a Fino Amontillado and an actual Amontillado are made by the cellar master but they can be hard to spot once bottled. It’s usually darker and richer than a common Fino and it can reach up to 15 years of age under exceptional conditions.

Once the flor has broken down completely, the wine will be labeled as an Amontillado and continues to age oxydatively.

 

Appreciation

Fino sherry is a perfect aperitif and a flexible wine that can be paired to a wide variety of foods, as the dry profile stimulates the taste buds and combines nicely with savoury, fatty foods. It is best served chilled – depending on the producer, a temperature of between 4°C and 9°C will be suggested. It goes particuluarly well with olives, almonds, (fried) fish, seafood and Jamón Serrano, as well as with light cheese.

 

Fino sherry reviews


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